Some chemotherapy drugs can cause sores in the mouth or throat because they inhibit the replacement of the healthy cells. The condition that causes sores in the mouth is known as stomatitis, and a comparable condition in the throat is known as pharyngitis.
lining of the mouth starts to become pale and dry. As time goes on, the
mouth and throat may become red, sore and inflamed. The patient may
have trouble eating, talking or swallowing. Eventually, the condition
can lead to painful, bleeding ulcers and possibly infection. This
condition normally develops approximately 5 to 14 days after
chemotherapy treatment has taken place. These conditions eventually heal
once chemotherapy treatment has ended.
It has been determined that up to 75 percent of patients who receive high-does chemotherapy get oral mucositis and approximately 40 percent of patients that receive standard-dose chemotherapy experience this side effect.
Drugs That Cause Oral Mucositis
Some chemotherapy drugs such as methotrexate and 5-FU have shown to cause a higher incidence of oral mucositis than some others. If the patient is treated early, it can lessen the severity of the symptoms.
Treatments to Reduce and Relieve Incidence of Oral Mucositis
There are some common none-drug treatments to help reduce the severity of oral mucositis.
Following are some steps that can be taken to help the healing process:
– Keep the mouth clean and moist
– Brush teeth with a soft toothbrush or swab
– Stay away from mouthwashes; rinse with salt or baking soda solutions
– Stay away from foods and juices that are acidic
are some medications that have been recommended and administered to
cancer patients to help alleviate pain from oral mucositis. They include
– Tylenol liquid (acetaminophen) – helps relieve pain but doesn’t heal sores
– Kepivance (palifermin) – this drug is used for severe cases of oral mucositis in patients with
– Gelclair (hyaluronate)- relieves pain by creating a protective barrier and coating the oral
– Saforis (glutamine) – a new drug known to be effective in preventing and treating oral mucositis